Juniors smash it

March 23, 2018

Shepparton Swimming Club members, including Kayla McFarlane (left) and Oliver Guthrie, secured great results at the recent Country All Junior Competition.

Shepparton Swimming Club’s youngest members put their talent to the test at the weekend.

The Country All Junior Competition at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre allows junior swimmers to bask in the limelight of their own specific meet, and Shepparton hopes certainly enjoyed themselves.

‘‘We had some outstanding results from all our junior swimmers, from 25 competitors we finished up with nine finalists — competing in 19 events — and seven medallists,’’ club coach Michelle Swift said.

‘‘We had standout performances from our three 12-year-old boys of Joss Church, Haidyn Symes and Branden Wilson.

‘‘(Their performances) saw us medal in three out of the four 50m events, including gold and silver in the 50m butterfly, gold in the 50m breaststroke and silver in the 50m backstroke.

‘‘Harry Shortis also did his bit for the team with a gold in the 50m freestyle, finishing 0.64 seconds over his national qualifying time for a 14-year-old of 25.95, but unfortunately he changes age group just prior to nationals, so his qualifying time becomes much faster at 25.49.

‘‘Harry also received two silvers in the butterfly and backstroke as well, and these medals were a great reward for a fantastic year’s work from all these boys.’’

It was not all about those who claimed medals though, with three swimmers tasting finals action for the first time — gaining valuable experience for the years ahead.

‘‘Stephanie Moran, Emily Thomas and our youngest competitor seven-year-old Tarlia Rudge all made their first finals, with Tarlia representing Shepparton in all four events in her age group,’’ Swift said.

‘‘Other finalists included our club stalwarts Oliver Guthrie and Kayla McFarlane.

‘‘This was Kayla’s last meet for the club as she is unfortunately moving to the Gold Coast, where hopefully she will continue on with her swimming.’’

The final short-course meet of Shepparton’s season is Sunday, with national and state school qualifying swimmers continuing to train and compete until April 21.

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